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The Other Balloon: Solving America's Burgeoning Student Loan Crisis

Everyone’s heard about the now-infamous 200-foot white balloon "drifting" surreptitiously into American airspace, wafting back and forth from Alaska to Montana to Missouri to South Carolina before being shot down by an F-22 stealth fighter. The mysterious balloon has received a great deal of media attention across all platforms. But there's another balloon that's been drifting over American airwaves, settling on college campuses. Though it grows in mass and impact every year, it too has remained largely undetected: the burgeoning balloon of student loan debt. While Americans were scouting the skies for UFOs and spy balloons, our national student loan debt was ballooning unfettered to gargantuan proportions. Since the first student loan was offered at Harvard University in 1840, student loan debt has been rising steadily. In 2010, for the first time in history, student loan debt surpassed American credit card debts and today, according to the US federal reserve, American students owe $1.75 trillion dollars in student loan debt. California’s students owe $141 billion of that total, the highest amount of any state. Read on to discover how CVCU's debt-free college model is setting a new standard in the education industry. I was one of those students who took out student loan debt to pay for college. I paid off my AA, my BA, and my first MA easily, but paying down the second Master’s degree and the Ph.D became a little trickier. I chose private universities for my graduate work, which meant they weren’t subsidized by government funding. I had a superior educational experience as a result of that choice, so I don’t regret that for a second. Never fear, the student loan advisors said. If you’re planning to be a full-time teacher, just teach for 16 years, and your debt will be waived like a modern-day indentured servant freed in the Year of Jubilee. But wait, that’s only if you teach in a low-income, high-crime school. And then only if you teach in any public school. Private schools, yet again, get the short end of the funding stick. Most of California’s private colleges (and even some private high schools, shockingly), cost almost $40,000 a year, according to a 2022 study by the College Board. Is this astronomical rate justifiable? In 20 years of teaching in private colleges, I had many students in my class who were going into field like teaching kindergarten and other non-lucrative fields of employment. They often ended their college career $140K in debt. I had students who were sleeping in their cars instead of taking on the $11K a year cost of living in campus housing and eating in overpriced school cafeterias. Would they be impacted by the debt? Yes. Students who graduate with outstanding loan debt are far more likely to delay “adulting” decisions like buying a car, owning a home, getting married. Debt is setting up a generation for perpetual adolescence. The system is broken. Can we start by admitting that? American educational institutions are doing a grave disservice to the next generation, and it’s time for a change. The traditional model of education is failing America’s students on three fronts: ineffective methodology, sweeping secularization, and crippling, outrageous debt. When the time came to start my own four-year university, I knew that we needed a model that would teach in the manner students actually learn, that would weed out woke Marxist philosophies, and that would eradicate the bondage of college debt for the next generation. Learn more about what we’ve built at Why are these debt-free, mentor-driven models not more popular? Tragically, most aging university vessels have grown so static, so resistant to change that they are unable to fully access the creativity required to meet the academic, financial, and socio-emotional needs of the next generation. Instead of embracing innovation, many traditional institutions of higher learning in America are weighed down by towering hierarchies and overly indebted building programs, investing millions of dollars into bricks and mortar instead of into the most valuable resource of all: the next generation. Today’s college grads are the first generation whose student loan debt surpasses the nation’s credit card debt. That’s no small feat. In California alone, there are 3.7 million student borrowers who owe a total of $141.9 billion in student debt. An entire generation is being sent out into the adult world carrying the unnecessary and overwhelming burden of educational debt, another statistic connected to their high levels of anxiety, depression, and perpetual adolescence. Furthermore, those that do graduate often report leaving college with no sense of direction, no specific calling or goal, and no hands-on, job-related experience. In fact, 60% of American college students actually end up in jobs that share no commonality with their college degree. Chula Vista Christian University is our local solution to this national crisis. In a state where private education averages almost $40K a year, CVCU teaches students in an individualized, mentor-driven model of higher education that prepares undergraduate students for marketplace influence (not simply textbook fluency)—at 1/4 of the cost. As a result of real-world excellence and whole-student discipleship, we intend for our students to graduate not only debt-free but also gainfully employed in their field of study. Why not join the rescue mission today? Let’s pop the debt balloon and set the next generation up for success so they can soar unencumbered into the future we are creating together today. Three Ways to Change the Tide CVCU is on a mission to rescue the next generation from public school indoctrination, preschool to college. Three ways we can help you: 1) Join our on-campus support program for tuition-free support from K to 6th grade. 2) Earn your BA degree in our mentor-driven, faith-based, debt-free model. 3) Start your own academy. Click the Start an Academy tab at to begin. You can do this; we can help!

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